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Folks, sometimes the predictions, they are good:
Aníbal Godoy was the difference in his first game as Nashville SC’s captain. His typical midfield partner, Dax McCarty, began the game on the bench (he’d ultimately replace Godoy in the second half, taking over his typical duties wearing the armband), and Godoy made the most of his time as the team’s official leader.
It didn’t quite happen the way I predicted, with the initial corner sent wide, and Walker Zimmerman’s run-of-play cross the ball that was headed to the top of the box, but nonetheless, it was a set-piece situation and a lurking Godoy outside the 18 that gave Nashville a 1-0 lead they’d never relinquish.
Inter Miami CF had a number of late chances to equalize, with nine Miami shots after the 75th minute – three of those coming in stoppage time. But Joe Willis made two saves, including on a dangerous free kick from Lee Nguyen, and his defense stood strong in front of him, blocking six more of the attempts. When the five minutes of stoppage time elapsed, the Boys in Gold took their first MLS victory in Nissan Stadium.
It could have finished with a little more breathing room, even. A first-half header from recent signing Alex Muyl was waved off after a review determined he committed a foul on his leap. Coming on as a halftime sub, Designated Player Hany Mukhtar earned a 72nd-minute penalty. He stepped up to the spot, and his determination to outsmart Inter Miami veteran Luis Robles saw him hit it high, with the penalty pinging the crossbar and going out of play for a goal kick. On a bright night in his first substitute appearance for the club, it could have been the moment to build Mukhtar’s confidence and get him rolling.
Alas, at the end of the contest, he’ll be relieved along with the rest of his teammates that the miss didn’t cost the squad a victory. They’ll move along to the next one, a Wednesday rematch with Orlando City SC. This time, the comfort of a home match against the Lions, and the lack of an emotionally taxing protest (that ultimately didn’t come to fruition for that game only) will hopefully lead them to victory.
- 23′ MIA Yellow card – 5 Nicolás Figal (foul)
- 31′ NSH Yellow card – 9 Dominique Badji (foul)
- 36′ MIA Yellow card – 3 Andrés Reyes (foul)
- 45’+4 Half time
- HT NSH Substitution – On 10 Hany Mukhtar, off 7 Abu Danladi
- 52′ MIA Yellow card – 26 Leandro González Pírez (foul)
- 53′ NSH GOAL – 20 Aníbal Godoy (right-footed, rebound, outside the box)
- 61′ NSH Substitutions
- On 6 Dax McCarty, off 20 Aníbal Godoy
- On 14 Daniel Ríos, off 29 Alex Muyl
- 68′ NSH Yellow card – 2 Dan Lovitz (foul)
- 70′ NSH Yellow card – 6 Dax McCarty (foul)
- 74′ MIA Substitutions
- On 12 Juan Agudelo, off 6 Wil Trapp
- On 28 Brek Shea, off 22 Ben Sweat
- On 24 Lee Nguyen, off 11 Matías Pellegrini
- On 18 Dylan Nealis, off Nicolás Figal
- On 19 Robbie Robinson, off 21 Julian Carranza
- 90’+5 Full time